Kobe Bryant to sit out Lakers game at Portland on Monday – Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant will not travel with the Lakers (10-23) to play the Trail Blazers (26-8) on Monday night in Portland.
“We talked about it this morning. I told him my plan was to sit him for tomorrow,” said Coach Byron Scott before the Lakers’ Sunday night battle against the Indiana Pacers (13-21).
Bryant recently sat out for three games to rest his 36-year-old body, including the Lakers’ Christmas Day visit to the Chicago Bulls.
“I talked to [trainer] Gary Vitti about it as well, he felt the same way,” Scott said. “So that’s the plan, and we’re going to stick to it.”
The Lakers will fly out after their Sunday night game, but Bryant will not join his team on the road. Wayne Ellington is likely to start in Bryant’s place.
“I told him to just stay here,” Scott said. “I think [traveling is] just as much wear and tear after a game. The plane flying, to the hotel, then you’re flying back after the game. So why don’t you stay home?”
Through 30 appearances, Bryant is averaging 23.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists, but is shooting a career-low 37.7% from the field.
The Lakers coach is also keeping his veteran on a time restriction in the 30-35 minute range. Scott clarified that it is not a given that Bryant will sit every time the Lakers play on consecutive nights.
“It’s still day by day. It depends on how he feels physically,” said Scott. “This was pretty much a no-brainer. We have three games in four nights.”
The Lakers also play on Wednesday against the Clippers (23-11).